WINTER FRUITS

Engineered Garments 19th Century BD Shirt, Pineapple Chambray
Engineered Garments 19th Century BD Shirt, Pineapple Chambray

It’s so long since my last post, I’d almost forgotten how to use WordPress. It’s been a tumultuous few months for me which will culminate in something exciting very soon, but has meant clothing has been on the back burner for a while. Well, on the back burner until I saw this bobby dazzler of a shirt appear on Oi Polloi which has forced me out of my summer hibernation.

Daiki Suzuki continues his playful twists on preconceived seasonal patterns by adding some tropical fruit to this Fall/Winter’s proceedings. This is a truly special embroidered pattern and it finds it’s home on (in my opinion) Daiki’s finest hour: the 19th Century BD Shirt. He often uses this style as a playground to experiment with fabric and it’s good to see this coming FW13 season is no exception. And for those interested in the 19th Century shirt, I’ve written a piece about it in the newly launched Kennedy Magazine. Hit the link for stockist information.

Pineapple Chambray

ENGINEERED GARMENTS SS12 PICKS

I’m always late to the party. My friends say my timings run on Moorby Minutes. There’s about 100 seconds in a Moorby Minute. With these time units in mind, I bring you the new collection from Daiki Suzuki’s Engineered Garments. Long after everyone else has had their say.

To be honest I’ve not felt massively blown away by the new collection and corresponding look book, which is probably why I’ve lacked a little motivation to write about it. It has it’s moments, but it’s a stark contrast to the killer styling, photography, and details of last season. To be fair, I feel Fall/Winter is always where Daiki’s collections excel as the season lends itself perfectly to his appetite for layering and texture.

All that said there are some pieces I’m very excited about, not least the heavily patterned Tab Collar shirts (which, as I’ve mentioned before, I feel have been neglected a little in the past couple of seasons).

Tab Collar Shirt, Pink Floral Print – My pick of the bunch

Above and below are some great images from the Engineered Garments News blog. I’m all over the pink floral print Tab Collar shirt this season. Worn with some of the brown and yellow Madras ties in the collection it could make for a very quirky pattern cluster-fuck, which I’m definitely more than up for.

Tab Collar Shirt, Green/Blue Floral Print
Tab Collar Shirt, Yellow/White Floral Print

There’s an abundance of great ties this season, how many will make it to UK shores I don’t know, but I’m hoping The Bureau will grab a few as they usually tend to do.

This collection relies heavily on some brilliant patterning and textures. It’s great to see an overload of Polka Dots, Madras and Floral patterns as well as some Camo creeping in there, but I just wish there were a few fresher ideas this season in the actual garments themselves. Still the best thing out there, mind.

Most looking forward to the Polka Dot Chambray 19th Century Shirt… a definite purchase.

ENGINEERED GARMENTS SHIRTING: 19TH CENTURY BD SHIRT

Engineered Garments 19th Century BD Shirts.

The jewel in Engineered Garments shirting crown would certainly have to be the 19th Century BD Shirt for me. It’s one of their staple garments that appears each season and like their other shirts has only a few subtle, but distinctive details that set it apart from the crowd.

Along with the Rounded Collar and Tab Collar shirts it’s one of Engineered’s smarter, preppier shirts, but unlike those aforementioned styles this shirt is simpler and can generally be worn more casually.

Engineered Garments 19th Century BD Shirts.

My obsession with this shirt has been gathering momentum recently especially with the new Autumn/Winter items arriving in stores in testing floral prints. The BD shirt is often Daiki’s playground for using some of the more garish madras, plaids, and checks, offsetting the simplicity of the shirt style and setting it apart from more traditional button-down offers such as Gitman, Ralph or Brooks Brothers. Another reason is I’ve recently bought a couple of the Workaday versions of the shirt which are good ‘all rounders’ produced in great quality oxford cloth in simple colours and patterns. I also find the cut more pleasing than the mainline version even though it’s necessary to size down for Workaday. For those interested, the Workaday shirts (which are also significantly cheaper than the mainline equivalent) can be found at The Bureau Belfast.

Engineered Garments 19th Century BD Shirt, Floral Print.
Engineered Garments Workaday 19th Century BD Shirt, White Oxford Cloth.

Other features that set this style apart are two large curved plackets at the bottom of the shirt making up for it’s distinct lack of buttons down the front and giving the style a more ‘historic’ feel. I’ve heard some people complain in the past that the shirt’s buttons cease too early as the last one is around the naval area. I really don’t find this an issue with such exaggerated overlapping plackets – the shirt always looks neat and tidy when tucked in and I’ve never had an issue with it splaying open at the waist band. I find the bigger issue for smarter occasions (like all E.G. styles) is the incredibly high hem, but it’s another payoff for the more casual untucked approach.

Engineered Garments Workaday 19th Century BD Shirt, Blue Chambray from The Bureau Belfast.

One last detail I’d like to discuss is single needle tailoring, which is generally considered superior to that of twin needle/chain stitching for a few reasons; the seam lays flatter than chain stitched seams, looks cleaner, and is less prone to puckering after washing. Single needle stitching is also every bit as strong as twin needle as there are still two rows of stitching, but one is hidden inside the fabric. It is, however, more labour intensive to produce which is why it’s generally only found on higher quality dress shirts. Single needle tailoring can also be found on the Rounded Collar shirt.

Single needle stitching detail on the 19th Century BD Shirt. The outer, single stitch seam is on the left and the right image shows the double stitching on the inside seam.
Twin needle/chain stitching detail of the Tab Collar shirt. Note the coarseness of the stitch rows on the inside seam on the right. Single needle stitching offers a flatter, smoother finish.

Alongside the Workshirt, this is certainly my favourite Engineered Garments shirt style. My plan is to, style by style, take a more in-depth look at Engineered’s shirting styles in future posts.